Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What I Learned From 2015

I've always been a sappy person. I'm also a very deep-thinker & ponderer. I like to reflect & reminisce about things that have happened in my life-- good or bad. When a new year rolls around, I get extra sappy & think about all the things that the year brought me.

What_I_Learned_From_2015

2015.

I graduated college. I dreamed about the day I would finally finish school for as long as I can remember. And I finally finished in May of this year. I graduated with a Bachelors in Family Life Education- Child Development. College taught me a lot of things. Mainly though, if you put your mind to something, you can succeed. My goal when I started college was to graduate in four years. Well by golly, I did it. Even though at times I thought I never would.

I started a blog. Blogging is basically my favorite. It allows me to express myself in ways I never knew I could. It taught me that it's definitely not easy, but oh, it's so worth it. I have made so many new friends & found a great community of amazing writers.

Our family grew by four feet. We got my pride & joy, Murphy, back in June. He is so loved. He has taught me that taking care of something is hard, but it's so rewarding. We like to cuddle, play & stare into each other's eyes (don't make fun).

We took vacations to Chicago, Jamaica & Ohio. I loved every place we visited this year. Andrew & I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in Chicago & we fell in love with the city. Last month, we stepped out of our comfort zone to leave the country & spend some time on the beach (with lots of sunscreen). And to top off the year, a couple of weeks ago, we took my Mom along with us to Ohio to see my Dad's family-- a lot of which we hadn't seen since he passed away almost 4 years ago. All of those trips taught me that life is short. You have to spend time with the people you love.

Andrew & I are on our 2nd year of marriage. We'll be celebrating our second anniversary in May. We have continued to learn so much about each other. I've learned how to love him more every day & how to be selfless-- because I think that is the key to a successful marriage.

It has easily been the fastest year of my entire life. I'm convinced that the older I get, the faster time flies. I think that after I graduated high school, life got a lot faster. I learned that you have to make the most of today. You aren't promised tomorrow. When my Dad passed away in 2012, I learned that very fast. But every year that goes by, I continue to learn & realize that life happens in the blink of an eye. You have to enjoy every moment that God gives you. I've learned that this life is not my own-- what am I going to do TODAY to help someone & further Christ's Kingdom? I think that's why I love to volunteer, which I started doing again weekly back in October.

I'm so thankful for 2015. It has taught me so much. Thank you all for following our journey this year & I pray that you continue to follow along to see what 2016 brings us! Happy New Year to you!

What has 2015 taught you?




Monday, December 28, 2015

10 Thoughts I Had While Watching Star Wars For The First Time

Last night, I watched Star Wars Episode IV for the first time in my entire life. In fact, I have never seen any of the movies-- like ever. Andrew really wants me to go see the new Star Wars movie with him, but since I had never seen the movies, we thought I should watch them (at least Episodes IV-VI). So I figured I'd share some of the thoughts I had while watching Star Wars for the first time.

Star_Wars

1. This is totally unrealistic.

2. Why does that robot thing keep beeping all the time? JUST SAY SOMETHING.

3. Harrison Ford is a hunk.

4. That kid who plays Luke Skywalker isn't too bad either.

5. So how long ago & exactly how far away did this take place?

6. Someone should really tell that Princess Leia girl that those buns on her ears should be used as a cute topknot instead. The look she's going for just isn't working for me.

7. I sound like Darth Vader when I'm congested.

8. And I totally could've played his part in the action scenes. He was just standing there waving that light saber around like it was no big deal.

9. The guns that they keep shooting each other with make it look like they're playing Laser Tag.

10. So when do I find out that Darth Vader is Luke's father?


Am I the only person who has never seen Star Wars until now?


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

4 Years of Dating Bliss

Is it weird that I still enjoy celebrating the day Andrew & I started dating? I mean, I know we're married & all, but I still love celebrating the monumental day when our love story "officially" began. Well, four years ago on this very day, Andrew & I went on our first date. Want to hear the story? Keep reading. If you don't want to hear the story, hey, at least you still gave me a page view ;).


As many of you probably already know, Andrew & I had been "talking" for months before he finally asked me out on an official date. When I first told him I liked him, he was unsure about us since our 5 year age difference (even though he liked me too). He went around & talked to a lot of men in our church who were married to women with just about as much age difference as us or more. He finally got up the courage to tell me he liked me too, but he didn't want to officially date me until I had finished my first semester of college. I guess he was afraid I would drop out or something.. #collegegrad

Nonetheless, he came over to my house all the time, we'd go to dinner & he'd drive me just about everywhere. I told him pretty much everyday that we were dating without the official "dating label." Well, the time rolled around when I was about to finish my first semester of college. I asked him one evening, "Uhh, so are we ever going to start 'dating'?" He had already asked my parents for permission to date me (of course they said yes) & we started planning out when we'd go on our first date.

I was working as a manager at a retail store at the time & was pretty busy, especially right before Christmas. But I was off one Thursday evening, December 22nd, so we planned to go out that night for the first time. Since we had been talking for so long, Andrew had received plenty of suggestions on where to take me for our first date. He ended up making a reservation for us at a place called Michael's where we ate our awkward first "dating" meal together (for some reason I chose pasta to eat so I'm sure that was lovely for him to watch-- hey, I guess he can't use the excuse that he didn't know what he was getting himself into though!).

After our romantic dinner, we stopped by Starbucks to grab me some coffee (he knows the way to my heart) & then we drove around Chesapeake to go look at lights. To end the evening, we went back to my house to open Christmas presents & change our relationship statuses on Facebook-- Oh yeah, we were that cool of a couple.

I love reminiscing on our dating time. It reminds me of why Andrew & I are the way we are & why we fell in love. So even though we're married now & celebrate our marriage anniversary, I still love celebrating the first day Andrew & I started dating :)

Happy 4 years of dating bliss, Andrew!


Monday, December 21, 2015

How To Get In The Christmas Spirit + Giveaway Winner Announced!

GUYS, can you believe that Christmas is this week?! This year has flown by for me. I guess it's true what they say-- the older you get, the faster time flies.. But on a happier note, I'm going to share with you all some simple ways on how to get in the Christmas spirit (if you haven't already). Because if you're not in the Christmas spirit this week, we might as well call you Scrooge.

How_to_get_in_the_Christmas_spirit

-Listen to nothing but Christmas music all week.

-Bake Christmas cookies & share them with someone special.

-Watch Christmas Vacation, Home Alone 1 & 2, Miracle on 34th Street & It's A Wonderful Life.

-Volunteer somewhere.

-Go drive around & look at Christmas lights.

-Give a gift to someone.

-One evening, turn on your Christmas tree & turn off all the other lights in your house.

-Find some mistletoe & hang it up so when your special someone walks under it, you can go kiss them! :)

If those things don't get you in the Christmas spirit, frankly I don't know what will!

On another topic, last week I introduced you all to the fabulous monthly subscription stationary company, Sincerely Box! Well, the giveaway ended Saturday night at midnight & "Rafflecopter" chose the winner at random for me this morning!


And the winner is............... NICOLE GARRISON! Congratulations Nicole! Look for an email from Haley over at Sincerely Box so she can get your info to send you your free December box! :)


What are your Christmas plans this week?


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Why You Should Be Sending More Cards + A GIVEAWAY!

When was the last time you got a card or letter in the mail? Think about it. Not many of us send "snail mail" anymore. We're such an "instant" society these days. What ever happened to taking the time to personally handwrite a card or letter to send to someone you love? I'm here today to tell you WHY you should be sending more cards! I also teamed up with my good friend, Haley, from Sincerely Box to show off her adorable, new stationary business. Plus, we're doing a GIVEAWAY & a COUPON CODE! Yay! ;)


Why_You_Should_Be_Sending_More_Cards_Sincerely_Box_Giveaway

-It's thoughtful.
-It's genuine. 
-It's "unplugged."
-It's a chance to write out how you feel. 
-It's a way to express yourself. 
-It's loving. 
-It's personal.
-It shows the person you care.
-It shows the person that you took the time to write to them.
-And Sincerely Box's stationary is super cute to send!


Sincerely Box believes in all of those things! Each time you receive one of their $24/month subscription box, you will find four beautifully hand lettered cards & four stamps exclusively for the box (which makes the task of actually sending the cards EASY-PEASY). Three of the cards come from independent designers across the United States & one card is designed by the amazing owner of Sincerely Box, Haley! She challenges you to send a card to someone you love every week-- using the cards to inspireencourage stay connected!




I love this company & am so excited to work with them! So in honor of that, Sincerely Box is giving away a December month's box for FREE! That's right, I said free, y'all! How awesome is that?! PLUS, I have an exclusive coupon code for you all to use for your own first month's subscription to Sincerely Box! What?! Enter the contest below! And use the coupon code "SARAH10" on Sincerely Box's website (HERE) at checkout to get your exclusive 10% off January's box.. But hurry fast because the code expires on December 23rd!



So what's stopping you from unplugging from the technology-crazed world we live in & taking the time to tell the people in your life how much you care? Sign up for Sincerely Box today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*All opinions in this product review are my own.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Worst & Best Christmas Gifts

Have you ever received a gift you will never forget? I sure have. I've received a ton of gifts throughout my lifetime, but some have been quite memorable. Let's just talk about my worst & best Christmas gifts of all time.

*NOTE: Let it be known that both of these gifts are from my lovely husband, Andrew.*

My_Worst_and_Best_Christmas_Gifts

-Worst: Andrew hasn't always been the best at giving gifts (no offense, babe). I've learned that I really just have to tell him EXACTLY what I want or else he'll go get me something crazy.. Such as this present I'm about to tell you about.

Andrew & I had been dating a year when he was about to move into his house. I casually told him one day, "I really want to buy you something for your new house!" Clearly thinking that I'd go buy him a picture frame or an oven mitt or something.

Well, Andrew took that as a "Oh, that's what she wants for Christmas" hint. So that Christmas, he got me a Home Depot gift card. That's right folks, this city-loving, girly-girl got a Home Depot gift card for Christmas. When I opened it, I asked him, "Why did you give me this??" And he told me, "Well you said you wanted to buy me something for the house!" ....... No, Andrew. You can't buy someone a gift that they're basically supposed to give back to you.

I think he learned his lesson that year. Except when he did give me workout videos for Valentine's Day... That's for another time though. :)

-Best: Ahh... My best Christmas gift would have to be a gift I received two years ago. Andrew proposed to me on December 14, 2013 & it was one of the best days of my entire life. Here's how the story goes.

Andrew was supposed to go out of town to work that weekend, but he mysteriously didn't have to go anymore. He told me he wanted to take me out on a date to celebrate staying in town. Little did I know that he had to scramble around & tell his boss that he had planned to propose to me that weekend & couldn't go out of town.

So we went out to celebrate on that cold December night. Andrew took me to eat at what USED TO BE my favorite restaurant (not anymore since we both got food poisoning from there this past summer.. bleh). He then took me to a Christmas light show. It was one of those that you turn your radio to a certain station & sit in your car to watch the fancy lights play to music.

We had discussed the topic about getting married a bazillion times & I always had a feeling that he would propose on just about any date we went on. That night as we were watching the Christmas lights, I asked him what else we were going to do. He told me, "We can go back to your house & just watch tv or something." I thought to myself, "Welp Sar, looks like you're not getting a ring tonight." My hopes of a proposal that evening were diminished.

After we got finished watching the lights, he started driving back to my house. But we made a short little detour to a park that we had walked around numerous times before. There was a gazebo that we loved to walk to in the park. Andrew pulled up, we got out, & he walked me over to the gazebo. He asked me for a kiss & then turned on Christmas lights that he had hung all around the gazebo. Andrew got down on one knee & asked me to marry him that night. Apparently I said (I don't actually remember this but Andrew tells me I said it), "Yeahhhh. Are you serious?!" when he asked me to marry him. Let's just say it was definitely a long time coming & I couldn't believe it was actually happening.

I love my engagement ring & wedding ring, but my favorite part of my Christmas gift that year was the fact that Andrew asked me to marry him. We were going to spend our lives together & I couldn't have been more excited! AND, I'm still loving it ;)


What's your best or worst Christmas gift you've ever received?



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

My Christmas Music Playlist

If you've been keeping up with my blog long enough, you know I'm a Christmas fan. I mean, just look at this picture from Instagram-- it basically describes my life.

A photo posted by Sarah Cunningham (@sarcunningham) on

Any who, Christmas music is my absolute favorite type of music. I could listen to it all year long. Well, let's face it... I do listen to it all year long. I think you should treat everyday like Christmas. It's the most wonderful time of the year, so why not celebrate it?!

Since Christmas music is my favorite, I thought I'd share with you all my very own, Christmas music playlist!

My_Christmas_Music_Playlist

-Underneath the Tree by Kelly Clarkson


-A Christmas Song by Nat King Cole


-Mary Did You Know? by Pentatonix


-White Christmas by Bing Crosby


-Cold December Night by Michael Buble


-Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays by *NSYNC


-Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by James Taylor


-Baby It's Cold Outside by Idina Menzel & Michael Buble


-Christmas Vacation Theme Song


-The First Noel by Josh Groban & Faith Hill


-My Only Wish (This Year) by Britney Spears


These are just a few of my favorite Christmas songs! What songs are you listening to this holiday season?


Monday, December 7, 2015

How To Be The Most Obnoxious Person At An Event

*WARNING: This post is full of sarcasm.*

The title of this post was definitely inspired by the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Remember when Andy wrote her "how to in reverse" article about all of the wrong things women do with men? Well this is my "how to in reverse" post about all of the wrong things people do at events, musicals, plays, performances, etc.

How_to_be_the_most_obnoxious_person_at_an_event

-Show up late.

-When you're trying to pick a seat, discuss it in a normal voice with the people you came in with.

-And then when you decide what seat you want, make sure to knee the people in front of you when you sit down.

-Squeak the chair when you sit down as well & adjust as often as possible.

-Don't silence your cell phone.

-But if you do decide to turn your phone off during the event, make sure it makes a noise when it shuts down.

-Bring mints & candy that have plastic wrappers & unwrap them during the event. Keep in mind on this one, take your time & be extra loud with it.

-Sigh often during the event.

-Cough & sneeze often as well.

-If you're going to whisper, whisper LOUDLY.

-Kick the chair in front of you. 

-Ask your chair-neighbor how to use your camera.

-And be sure to leave the flash on when you take a picture (or 100).


Keep in mind, only do these things if you want to be the most obnoxious person at an event. If you don't want to be "that person," do the opposite of these things. You're welcome.







Thursday, December 3, 2015

Things I Do Every December

December is hands down my favorite month. It includes Christmas, plenty of holiday cheer, & it's the month Andrew & I started dating & got engaged. I love this month. But there are a few things I do EVERY December.

Things_I_Do_Every_December

-Watch like a bazillion Christmas movies-- The Santa Clause, It's a Wonderful Life, Elf, White Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alone (1&2), etc.

-Decorate the Christmas tree with Andrew (& now Murphy).

-Burn Christmas-smelling candles all day long.

-Go look at a ton of Christmas lights.

-Spend time with friends & family.

-Laugh hysterically at Christmas Vacation--especially the part when Clark Griswold gets stuck in the attic.

-Use my Christmas dishes that I got for like 80% off after Christmas at Hobby Lobby two years ago.

-Wear Christmas t-shirts. Such as this one. I just bought it the other day & it's super cute.

-Eat endless amounts of miniature Reese's that come in the big, plastic candy cane (yummm).

-Listen to Christmas music nonstop. Okay, I do this all year.

-Wear an ugly Christmas sweater.


I love this time of year so stinkin' much :). What do you do EVERY December?



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